Common Staff Writer
Officials with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet are working to fix the 12th Street bridge in Ashland, KY that was damaged last week when it was been struck by an unknown vehicle on the Ohio approach of the bridge. The bridge in question carries traffic one way across the Ohio River from Ohio to Kentucky, linking US 52 and US 23. According to Allen Blair, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 9 Information Officer, they are working with the Ashland Police Department and other agencies to determine further what damaged the bridge. On Tuesday of last week the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, instituted a temporary weight restriction on the bridge of 10 tons. By Thursday of last week officials had determined to close the bridge, citing it as a safety measure due to structural damage. According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, crews have placed barricades at the bridge and will set up appropriate signage and detours throughout the day. Engineers continue to assess repair plans, and are investigating options to alleviate the traffic disruption of closing the bridge. “Right now, our priority is the safety of motorists,” said Kentucky Department of Highways District 9 Chief Engineer Bart Bryant in a released statement. “While we understand the inconvenience this bridge closure will cause, it is the right thing to do in terms of protecting the traveling public.” On Tuesday, May 29 officials announced they have temporarily converted Ashland’s 13th Street Bridge to two-way traffic while engineers seek a permanent fix for the damaged 12th Street bridge. One inbound lane for traffic traveling from Ohio to Kentucky and two outbound lanes for Kentucky to Ohio traffic. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is advising motorists that, traffic on US 52 in Ohio will take the Ashland exit, pass the closed 12th Street bridge, and turn right onto the 13th Street Bridge. Cones will mark the lane to US 23-Winchester Avenue where all traffic must turn right. Northbound US 23 vehicles may continue straight and southbound US 23 traffic can take the truck detour using Greenup Avenue. Southbound traffic on US 23-Winchester Avenue will be restricted to one left-turn lane where they can turn left onto the 13th Street Bridge. (The dedicated left-turn lane has been eliminated to give incoming traffic more room to maneuver.) Two lanes will then carry traffic across the bridge to access US 52 toward either Ironton or South Point. It’s anticipated by officials that two-way traffic pattern on the 13th Street bridge will be in place for several months. “We are going to let a contract for the repair, as soon as possible. That contract letting will likely occur within the next few weeks. Once we get a contract let and awarded to a contractor, we will know more of a better time frame,” Blair said. “This is a complicated repair and requires specialized work. This is a priority project and we will push to get it repaired so, we can reopen it.” For more information about the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 9 visit, transportation.ky.gov/district-9/Pages/default.aspx
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-1151, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.